How long did it take you to grow up, and how did you know when you got there?
I find that as I get older, the less I appreciate films "aimed" at younger audiences. I'm 35 ( as of this writing) and for me, most "teen" comedies are insufferable, and those that are about twenty-somethings are gradually sliding into that category as well. I begin to wonder: Is it me? Do I just not get it? Is it just my age?
Then, I pull out my DVD of Beautiful Girls, which reminds me that when movies are good, it doesn't matter how old you -- or the characters -- are.
We come to know the characters, we come to care about what is happening, and we even forgive them some of their shortcomings. They seem like people we might know. It's not easy to do that in a movie. Director Ted Demme sets just the right pace, and lets the story unfold as a sequence of humanly unpredictable events.
The dialog is natural and easy. There are several scenes of enjoyable, realistic dialog that don't particularly forward the plot in any direction -- these scenes (like Timothy Hutton's scene with Uma Thurmann in the Ice Fishing shack) lend depth to the characters by letting them say what a person might actually say. And thus the story seems natural and unforced.
The film takes place over the course of, oh, I'd say about 2-3 weeks. How much growing up have you done over the last 2 -3 weeks?
This is a great movie and well worth checking out.